The World Series of Fighting closed out the 2016 calendar for the mixed martial arts world with a huge 4-title fight event in New York City. The Theater at Madison Square Garden played host to a great afternoon of fights in front of a sold out crowd. MMA legends Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell and Randy “The Natural” Couture were on hand, as well as 2x Olympic gold medalist in Judo Kayla Harrison, and former New York Giant Justin Tuck.
The prelims aired on NBC SN and the main card on NBC, with commentary from MMA greats Bas Rutten and Renzo Gracie. The atmosphere was electric and the fights DID NOT disappoint.
Two first round submissions by Tom Marcellino (8-5) and Andre Harrison (15-0) on the WSOF.com prelims set the tone. The NBC SN prelims brought the firs title fight to the decagon as defending middleweight (and light heavyweight) champion David Branch successfully defended his title against a very savvy Louis Taylor. The fight was pretty close until Branch managed to sink in a rear-naked choke in 5th round for the tap, earning the 20th victory of his career.
The first title fight of the main card saw undefeated bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes defend his title against Josinaldo Silva. The fight was heating up before Silva suffered a knee injury early in the first round and had to concede the fight. Moraes looked great, however, in front of the spotlight.
Next up was a clash of veterans as welterweight champion Jon Fitch put his title on the line against Jake Shields. While the fight didn’t live up to the hype, we were treated to 5 rounds of veteran chess play in the cage. Fitch pulled out the unanimous decision victory and hinted that this may very well have been his last fight.
“This was a big deal for me, defending my title. I’ve been dealing with a lot of medical shit over the years. I got a bulging disc on my neck. I got a funny reading on my brain MRI before this fight. This is a good chance that this is my last fight.” Fitch continued, “I have to talk to some doctors and some neurologists and people, but I’ve been dealing with some medical issues lately, and there’s a good chance this is my last fight.”
Whichever way this situation plays out, we wish nothing but the best for Fitch and have nothing but gratitude for all he’s given to the sport.
The main event saw undefeated lightweight champion Justin Gaethje defend his belt against Luiz Firmino in a fight that brought the New Year’s Eve fireworks early. Firmino, who took the fight on three weeks notice, came out swinging. The action was fast and heavy in this one, with both fighters landing what very well could have been knock out blows numerous times through out the match. It was a back and forth affair with Gaethje losing his mouthpiece a few times. With both men cut, battered, and bruised, we were set to enter the 4th round. The ringside doctor had different plans, however. After close inspection of Firmino’s right eye, which was swollen shut, the doctor decided to call the fight, handing Gaethje his 17th win and another successful title defense.
2017 promises to be a big year in the world of mixed martial arts and for the WSOF. Keep your eye on MikeSwick.com as we will be posting their 2017 schedule soon.
WSOF NYC Results:
Justin Gaethje def. Luiz Firmino via TKO (doctor stoppage) before R4
Jon Fitch def. Jake Shields via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
Yushin Okami def. Paul Bradley via split decision (29-28 28-29, 29-28)
Marlon Moraes def. Josenaldo Silva via submission (injury) R1, 2:30
David Branch def. Louis Taylor via submission (RNC) R5, 2:00
Caio Alencar def. Jared Rosholt via KO (punches) at R1, 1:17
Shane Krutchen def. Jeremy Mahon via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Smealinho Rama def. Jake Heun via second-round TKO (3:30)
Bruno Santos def. Vagab Vagabov via split decision (28-29, 29-29, 29-28)
Andre Harrison def. Bruce Boyington via submission (RNC) R1, 1:54
Tom Marcellino def. Matt Denning via submission (guillotine) R1, 3:30
WORLD SERIES OF FIGHTING
“World Series of Fighting” (WSOF) is a world wide premier professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight promotion dedicated to delivering the best action-packed fights for fight fans by producing the best possible match-ups between elite fighters from around the world.
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